4 Early Signs of Burnout

7 min read

Burnout is a stress condition caused by mental, emotional and physical exhaustion. It's when you feel so overwhelmed and mentally drained to the point of not being able to keep going. 

Burnout begins when your body is in continuous production of Cortisol, the hormone that regulates stress. 

Imagine you're at the mall and the fire alarm goes off. The mall cops will rush everyone out to safety and secure the area. In this scenario cortisol is the fire alarm - responsible for alerting us of the possible danger.

Can you imagine what shopping would be like if the fire alarm was on ALL THE TIME?!

It would be crazy!

This is what it's like when your body is producing cortisol day and night, asleep or awake. It's exhausting and scary - you may feel stressed and anxious simply standing inside the mall.

The non-stop production of cortisol is what makes you tired, stressed, and anxious - the same way you would feel if you shopped at a mall that had no off switch on the fire alarm.

What causes burnout?

Usually, work. 77% of survey respondents said they have experienced burnout at their current job. For millennials, specifically, that number rises to 84%.

Other causes of burnout symptoms are financial reasons like keeping up with bills and family reasons like raising children and maintaining the household.

So what happens when you get burned out?

It affects everyone differently. Some may experience obvious symptoms like trouble sleeping, bad mood or loss of appetite. Others may experience symptoms that aren't so obvious like constant stress, anxiety and a weaker immune system. All conditions that can lead to disease.

Symptoms tend to show up slowly over time so it's easy to misinterpret them as having a bad day or a bad week.

These are early signs of burnout:

Waking Up Tired

When you get some quality sleep, you give your body a chance to rejuvenate itself. Even on the toughest workdays, sleep is like medicine for your body to feel energized again.

In the case of burnout, fatigue and tiredness don’t go away that easily. 

If when you wake up you still feel exhausted, your tiredness has turned into fatigue. Even sleeping 8 hours isn't enough to help you wake up like you actually got some rest. 

When waking up tired turns into chronic fatigue, other burnout symptoms may appear. These can include restlessness, exhaustion and sleep disorders.

If you lack the energy to do things like go to the gym or hang out with friends, chronic fatigue has possibly settled in. If you're looking for a solution we recommend checking out Empower, our CBD solution for energy and fatigue.

Feeling Anxious for no Reason

An early sign of burnout is anxiety. Anxiety is when you are afraid of something, an event, or a thing. And the perceived threat is not proportional to the actual danger. You also anticipate stressful situations and avoid them to reduce the possible anxiety. 

Anxiety as a result of burnout includes tensed muscles, constant worry, and being on edge. Or you may experience a lack of concentration and indecisiveness. Aside from mental stress, anxiety can cause physical symptoms. These include racing heart, sweating, hot or cold flushes and shortness of breath.

For some, anxiety may look like frequent nail-biting or restless leg syndrome, an uncontrollable urge to move or bounce your leg.

Unmanaged, anxiety can affect your productivity, your thinking and your ability to socialize. It is physically draining to be anxious all the time and it can take a toll on your wellbeing. If you're looking for a solution, we recommend checking out our CBD for focus collection.

Constant Stress

Stress and anxiety are often used interchangeably. Stress, however, is a response from your body to an external distressing stimulus. Your body prepares itself to fight or flight from the situation. And when the situation disappears, the stress vanishes as well. For instance, a tight deadline, or an argument with a colleague. Anxiety, on the other hand, is a persistent feeling of apprehension with an internal cause. 

What can lead to feeling constant stress from work?

  • working too much without relaxing or socializing
  • lack of supportive relationships
  • taking on too many responsibilities
  • overly demanding job expectations 

If stress persists for too long, your body stays in a constant fight or flight mode. Slowly dismantling your mental, physical and emotional strength.  Check out our CBD stress reducing products

Substance Abuse

Other burnout symptoms like anxiety and stress can drive some to find relief in alcohol. Alcohol is a sedative - it relaxes the mind and body temporarily. Other people may opt for prescription drugs to self-medicate anxiety and stress. 

unfortunately, instead of reducing burnout, substance abuse can make things worse. It only resolves things temporarily. Long term, it does nothing to resolve the problems people experience.

So what can you do instead?

CBD as a Burnout Solution

We are advocates of managing burnout instead of suffering from it. We believe one of the best ways to address your burnout is with CBD. 

Remember the fire alarm example from earlier? 

Well the same way firefighters can turn off a fire alarm, CBD's molecular structure allow it to decrease cortisol production. 

This direct effect on cortisol production is the reason CBD has exploded into the scene as a stress and anxiety reliever. 

CBD tells the adrenal glands to slow down production of cortisol. This let's your body enter a relaxed state in which you can ease up on tension, calm down the mind and get good sleep. We have included some human studies here to back up what we are saying. (Sources: 1, 2, 3)

Ready to give CBD a try? Here are some products to get you started:

CBD tinctures

CBD gummies

The CBD Wellness Bundle

Other Tips to Manage Burnout

  • Identify the warning signs
  • Learn strategies to manage stress
  • Practice mindfulness meditation
  • Seek social support
  • Reevaluate priorities
  • Practice self-care such as proper diet, exercise, etc. 

Burnout is a serious condition that can cause many other health problems. If you feel like burnout is getting out of control, we advise you seek expert medical advice.